cod. 1007415

Academic year 2022/23
2° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Scienza delle costruzioni (ICAR/08)
A scelta dello studente
Type of training activity
Student's choice
60 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding:
At the end of the course, the student will acquire the theoretical basis and the application tools of equilibrium analysis of structures, such as cables, arches and shells.

Applying knowledge and understanding:
At the end of the course, the student will acquire the ability to understand the static behavior of architecture structures, including cables, arches and shells.

Communication skills:
At the end of the course, the student should have acquired a command of the technical language to allow a proper and effective presentation of the results.


The student must be confident with the concept of equilibrium of forces and the with the basics of the mechanical behavior of simple structures (reactions, internal actions, deformation)

Course unit content

1.Systems of forces

2.Equilibrium of cables:
Basic concepts of the static equilibrium of cables and membrane structures, examples and applications

3. Masonry structures. Characteristics, classification, mechanical behavior.

4.Equilibrium of arches:
Fundamentals of the static of arches, examples and applications

5. Equilibrium of shells
Basic concepts of the equilibrium of shells of revolution, membrane regime,
Spherical domes, examples and applications

Full programme

1.Systems of forces
Operations with forces (sum, decomposition, .),

2. Equilibrium of cables
Cables under self-weight: parabolic and catenary configurations,
Prestressed cables,
Loss of tension due to relaxation,
Cable suspended and strayed structures,
Tensile structures,
Examples and applications.

3. Masonry structures
The constituent elements
Failure models for masonry elements
Strength under compression
Strength under shear

4. Equilibrium of arches
Three hinge arches,
Third mean of cross-section,
Line of pressure,
Method of Mery,
Examples and applications.

5. Equilibrium of shells
General: shell of revolution and axisymmetric load conditions,
Concepts of surface curvatures.
The internal forces in shells of revolution: membrane regime,
Spherical domes.
Equilibrium of uniformly stretched membranes,
Examples and applications to domes.


Recommended textbooks:
- O.Belluzzi “Scienza delle Costruzioni” Vol.I e Vol.III, Zanichelli, Bologna.
- Arnold W. Hendry “Statica delle strutture in muratura di mattoni”, Pàtron, 1987.
- Frei Otto, Bodo Rasch “Finding Form: Towards an Architecture of the Minimal”, Axel Menges, 1996

Teaching material available via the teacher’s website or from website Elly of the university.

Teaching methods

The course consists of theoretical lessons and practical exercises. For each topic, exercises are planned so that the student can deal with the resolution of the problems previously formulated in theoretical form.
The theoretical lessons and practical exercises are carried out on the blackboard together with the showing of slides, which are available on the portal

Assessment methods and criteria

The assessment of student learning is formulated on the basis of a final written exam.
The final exam is weighted as follows:
- 70% application of the theory to exercises (applying knowledge and understanding) (21/30);
- 20% theoretical questions (knowledge and understanding) (6/30);
- 10% clarity of presentation (communication skills) (3/30).

Other information

It is strongly recommended to attend the classes of the course.